Remembering That the Tough Moments Often Brought Joy Helped Me Get Through New Motherhood

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Accepting that parenting will be comprised of the tough and unexpected, day in and day out, is the quickest way to find joy in it. Because it isn’t easy to

perfect swaddle
, to whether or not your baby is sleeping too much or not enough, to how many diapers they should go through in a day. It isn’t easy to find the joy when your child is in the NICU or when they’re colicky and you’d give anything to make it all better for them, because you keep telling yourself that that’s what Mom is supposed to do.
When I was in the midst of all of this, and everything would feel so hard, the unexpected little moments shone brighter than all the others combined and the joy was indescribable. The way my children would wiggle and cuddle their tiny selves on my chest as I sat up with them late at night would literally take my breath away. How they would wrap their tiny little hand around my fingers after a colicky episode would melt my heart.

The way I’d unwrap my best attempt at a swaddle as they lay on their changing table and watch their little legs kick out and stretch as their arms reached above their heads. The little sounds they’d make as I’d change them. They’d blink their beautiful, bright eyes and look around, occasionally landing on my face, making eye contact, and my whole world would be looking back at me.
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Those early days are hard and exhausting and emotional. They’re also beautiful, fleeting, and life-changing. What made the first weeks with my older two children bearable was remembering the joy I would find in the hardest, most exhausting moments. With my third child, I finally

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